Electricity generation by an alkaline fuel cell

Ergul, MT
Turker, L
Eroğlu, İnci
A fuel cell test module was designed and constructed to get a practical experience about an alkaline fuel cell. The aim was to improve its performance by changing some of its parameters and to integrate with a hydrogen photobioreactor in future. The fuel cell was a single cell, hydrogen-oxygen, aqueous electrolyte type. The performance characteristics of the cell have been investigated. The electrodes were multilayer teflon bonded gas diffusion type and were prepared by the rolling method. Active carbon or carbon black was used as support material whereas platinum as catalyst and nickel screen as backing material. The components of the electrodes were adjusted until optimum performance of the fuel cell was obtained. The electrodes prepared were 0.5 mm thick having 5 cm(2) active area with different platinum loading. The voltage-current characteristics of the fuel cell in 30% or 50% KOH (w/w) solution were measured at different temperatures (20-60 degrees C). The best performing fuel cell exhibited 950-417 mV potential, 0-75 mA/cm(2) current density and 60-30% efficiency. with a temperature insensitive electrode within the range of 25-50 degrees C.